Thursday, April 28, 2011

Final Report on PLN

To be honest, when I first learned that we were assigned to create a Personal Learning Network (PLN), I was not very interested. I liked having iGoogle as my homepage and all of my frequently used websites saved under my Favorites tab. However, as I started creating mine I began to see just how useful and convenient it truly is. I used Symbaloo to create mine, and it was very user friendly. I would recommend it to anyone, any age! I absolutely love my PLN, and it is now my new homepage!

Check out my PLN by clicking here!


Project 15 Book Trailer

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Special Assignment - Metaphors

1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head," why do you think you understood the metaphor, and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?
At first, I didn't get it. However, when I got to the part where Tom Johnson says "Let me finish. Schools in low-income areas often have students who come in with a mentality that pencils are to be used for entertainment," I knew something wasn't right.. I knew he wasn't talking about "pencils." I finished reading the entire post, thought about all the other videos, blog posts/assignments and projects we were assigned and how they were all pro-technology and figured that Tom Johnson was, in deed, not referring to pencils, but to computers/technology. My guess for the students that did not catch the metaphor is that they simply took it too literally or that they just weren't thinking they would be assigned to read a post that was nothing but a whole metaphor.  

2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?
Some of the metaphors I have encountered are: Let's get to the bottom of it; her comment was difficult to swallow; she got my blood boiling; she's going to steal the spotlight; he's the sunshine of my life; he was showered with presents; break a leg; and lastly, I would kill to have that car.

3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
I definitely suggest spending a full day reviewing metaphors, giving a complete and thorough lesson with plenty of examples (depending on grade level, of course). In addition to the lesson, teachers could assign students to keep a log of metaphors they encounter, like we were asked to do. Then, they could share them in class and explain the underlying meaning of the metaphor to show their understanding. Also, teachers could encourage the use of them or even make it a requirement for each student to use at least one a day in class.

4. Why do we use metaphors?
In my opinion, we use metaphors as a way of communicating. They are like a shortcut to instant understanding. Metaphors make complex ideas simple and familiar to the listener because they compare the unknown to something the listener already knows. They can make speaking and writing more interesting and help us think about things differently. 


Friday, April 22, 2011

C4T 4

For C4T 4, I was assiged to Ms. Lisa Thumann. Ms. Thumann is the Senior Specialist in Technology Education with the Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She works with educators to improve teaching and learning using technology.

Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education
Post 1

In Ms. Thumann's first post, she talked about how she was invited to present at the inaugural Tech Forum in Boston. Just over 200 educators gathered at the Burlington, MA Marriott to learn together. Ms. Thumann and several other presenters facilitated the “Ultimate Web 2.0 Smackdown” and were joined by several educators as they spent no more than 3 minutes demonstrating numerous technological tools that could be used by educators. She shared several websites on her blog, which you can view here.

My Response:

Hi Ms. Thumann,
My name is Samantha, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I admire your position with the Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education. With the rapidly advancing technology of today’s world, teachers need to be familiar and educated with the latest technology in order to fully meet the needs of their students. Congratulations on being asked to present at the Tech Forum. What an honor! Thank you for sharing those links, they are going to be very helpful to me when I have a classroom of my own. Dr. Strange has had us use a few of them in his class, and I really enjoyed getting familiar with them. I am amazed at the abundance of resources that are at our fingertips. Thanks again for sharing.

Post 2

In the second post I commented on from Ms. Thumann's blog, she shared some Everyday Math apps that were available for FREE download during April 13-16, 2011 for teachers, parents and students that have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. To see a list of the Everyday Math apps Ms. Thumann shared, click here.

My Response:

Hi Ms. Thumann,
It's me again, Samantha from Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I don't have an ipod or an iphone, but I do have a smart phone that I'm able to download apps on. I wonder if those are available for download on my phone; I will have to look into it. I love how companies that come out with all of this fun technology (apple and the ipad/ipod touch, for example) are also making them educational! Through Dr. Strange's class, I have seen numerous teachers incorporate this kind of technology into their classrooms. I wonder how many of them are using apps like the ones you shared above? I definitely want an ipad to try out things like this and see how they could be beneficial in my future classroom. Thank you for sharing!

Blog Assignment 13


ALEX, also known as the Alabama Learning Exchange, is a project of the Department of Education. It was designed to index and share a variety of educational materials and information. ALEX is a communal database of lesson plans created and shared by educators. The website is searchable by subject area as well as areas such as technology, education and information literacy. The ALEX website offers personal workspaces, podcast submissions, bookmarks, literacy tips and activities, web links, professional learning etc. The Alabama Learning Exchange website is an extremely helpful resource for teachers. They can find lesson plans, activities, and podcasts to incorporate in their teaching. It can even serve as a good resource for future teachers; I have used it for projects in prior semesters. I highly recommend getting familiar with it now!  


ACCESS, also known as Alabama Connecting Classroom, Education and Students Statewide, is a product of the State of Alabama. Their vision is to provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning. ACCESS is striving to allow students, no matter where they are, to have access to higher learning and classes that aren't available where they live. For example, if a student was excelling in their classes in high school and advanced classes were not available, ACCESS would allow them different courses to enhance and challenge their learning. I think this program is great; it gives the students without the funding and upper level classes the opportunities to be challenged that they otherwise wouldn't have. 

Both ALEX and ACCESS are fantastic sites. Both programs are based on students' needs and education. 

C4K 7, 8, 9 & 10

C4K 7
For C4K 7, we were to view Mr. McClung's class blog. I was assigned to watch the video of Josh putting in some work with his yo-yo at the school's talent show, which you can view here (2nd video from the top). He was very good!

My Response:
Hi! My name is Samantha, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to watch the Talent Show: Josh. That is definitely some talent, Josh! I’m curious to know how long it took you to learn how to do all of that! I have never been any good with a yo-yo. How long have you been doing it? You are quite the entertainer! Keep it up! I hope to see more videos of you yo-yo’ing in the near future!

C4K 8
For C4K 8, I was assigned to a little girl named Amelia. She is a 6/7 year student in Ms. Thompson's Room 13 class at a school in Adelaide Australia. In Amelia's most recent blog post she talked about her new house. She says that her and her parents just moved into it four weeks ago and that she's never moved before. She misses her old house, but her new one is much bigger; it has a three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a spiral staircase and a tennis court.

My Response:
Hi Amelia! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I enjoyed reading your post about your new house; it sounds very nice! I would love to have a house with a tennis court and spiral stairs. I do not like moving! We just moved last year, and it has taken forever to settle in. I hope you adjust to your new house soon! I know how hard it can be. Good luck and thanks for sharing! I hope to read an update on your new house later.

C4K 9
Mrs. Yollis' class blog was very interesting. She had lots of tutorial videos and how-to's, some of which were very helpful to me and my blogging. Although her blog wasn't as detailed and organized as Mr. McClung's, I still enjoyed researching it. She did not have her classroom rules, things students need and all of that on there. It was a little difficult to navigate around because there was so much stuff, but I still liked it. I really like how into writing and grammar Mrs. Yollis is. I think by her making the students blog and comment, she is teaching them grammar and writing in a fun and enjoyable way, a way that the students will want to participate. I also really like how she declared April to be Family Blogging Month. This is a fantastic idea and way for the students' parents and family to see what the students are learning in the classroom. Overall, I think it's a great classroom blog, age appropriate and a great way for her students to communicate and learn!

My Response:
Dear Mrs. Yollis and Students,
My name is Samantha Fleming, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama majoring in Elementary Education. First and foremost, I am thankful to Dr. Strange for assigning us to your class blog. Throughout this semester with Dr. Strange, I have often wondered how I would incorporate technology into an elementary classroom. At the start of the semester, I was convinced it was impossible. However, teachers like you have proved me wrong. Looking at your blog, I am amazed at the ways you have incorporated technology into your 3rd grade classroom. It is such an inspiration to see teachers like you! Your passion for teaching definitely shows in your blog.

Also, I love your idea of Family Blogging Month! Where did you come up with this idea? I think a parent’s involvement in their child’s education is incredibly necessary and important so I love the creativity of Family Blogging Month. I like how you urge the parents to leave quality comments and how other students respond to them.

I will be following your class blog and hope to see more quality posts and tutorials. I have referred to your “Learn HTML” post several times. Feel free to visit my blog at I hope everyone has a wonderful day; thanks for sharing!

C4K 10
For C4K 10, I was assigned to Grace in Mrs. Yollis' 3rd grade class. In the post I chose to comment on, Grace talked about a day she spend baking with her mom. She shared several pictres of her baking, the recipe and the finished product. It looked like she had a lot of fun that day! See for yourself by clicking here.

My Response:
Dear Grace,
My name is Samantha, and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I love to bake as well! Your cookies look like they turned out amazing. Did they taste good? I have never made those before, but I would like to try them. My husband loves sweets so I'm sure he would really enjoy them. I really like all the pictures you shared. It looks like you had a great time baking with your mom. Do you and your mom bake often? Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 12

Blog Assignment:
Read Nick Sauers blog post Teachers v. Technology. What are your thoughts? Whose side of the spectrum are you on, Nick Sauers' or Tim Walker's? Why?

My Reaction:
My initial reaction was to immediately side with Tim Walker. With all this pushing of technology into the educational system and classrooms, I sometimes feel like the need for teachers is slowly diminishing. However, Nick Sauers made some very valid points in technology's defense. He states "It is certainly possible that online courses could eventually eliminate some teaching positions, but even in those cases, there is still a teacher. In actuality, a school may replace a face-to-face teacher with an online teacher." I never looked at it from this point. I still believe though that children need to have that face-to-face interaction and teaching. I think it is extremely important for instruction and interaction. I believe student's need to have that outlet for their growth and maturity. However, I do not agree with Sauers' statement that "On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction." According to him, that was based on information from a report for the Department of Education, but I do not for one second believe that to be true. I have personally taken online classes and struggled to stay afloat because you're pretty much teaching yourself. I'm not saying it isn't possible and won't work, I'm just not at all alright with the idea of schools converting to online classes.


Progress Report on Final Project

Progress Report

My final project is coming along nicely. I have picked a partner, we have decided on our topic, and we have already started working on our script. We don't want to say what our topic is, we want it to be a surprise for Dr. Strange and the rest of the EDM310 students. Hopefully it will be helpful to future EDM310 students!  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Assignment - Mr. McClung's World

1. What do you know (or have you found out) about Mr. McClung that is reflected in the way he has constructed his class blog?

Mr. McClung seems like a very neat and organized teacher. His blog makes him come across like he is a dedicated, hands-on, eager to teach kind of teacher. His enthusiasm and passion really shines through in his blog and each of his posts.
2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.

It seems as though Mr. McClung has found a very effective method of teaching. He calls upon his "class" and they respond as a whole, as a team in a sense. He is sure to keep them involved and interested in his teaching, which is huge in order for students to succeed. This goes hand-in-hand with his enthusiasm and dedication; it makes for a very welcoming environment where students will want to learn and be a part of the class.

3. I asked above that you read Mr. McClung's "rules" and think about them. What do they say about Mr. McClung, his teaching, and his connection with his students? What is your reaction to these rules (and guides) as a student and as an aspiring teacher?

After reading Mr. McClung's rules, I think he is very structured and likes a disciplined classroom. He doesn't have many rules, but the ones he dies have, he enforces them. As I have learned in EPY 355 this semester, the fewer the rules, the better they are followed. His first rule is to "follow directions quickly." This is extremely important because your time in the classroom is limited so time is of the essence, and I like the fact that that is the start of his rules; it sets the tone for his whole classroom atmosphere. Overall, I really like his rules.

4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?

A day planner was the first thing under "Everyone Needs." In my opinion, everyone should have one of these even if it isn't required by the teacher. I believe it's his first requirement because staying on top of your assignments and knowing when your tests are, etc. is key to succeeding in school. Mr. McClung seems very organized himself so he probably wants to teach that to his students as well. I think that a planner is a very important tool for all students to have and to keep up-to-date.

5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.

Mr. McClung's late penalty is the loss of a letter grade for each day that an assignment is late. This is where the students' day planners will really come in handy. They should write all due dates in their planner that way they are sure to never be late. This is similar to Dr. Strange's grading policy. He gives you a checklist with the assigments and their due dates and you are responsible for getting them in on time. You do not receive full credit for a late assignment, but late is better than never.

6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.

I love that Mr. McClung's blog is intended for his students as well as their parents. This really helps keep parents involved and up-to-date with what their children are doing in school. Although I'm sure it is incredibly time consuming on Mr. McClung's part, I'm sure it cuts back on confusion and students forgetting handouts and/notes. I'm sure the parents really appreciate it too; I know I would.

7. I asked you to review at least two Useful Links in depth after reviewing all of them. Which two did you review in depth? Describe each of the two. How might each be used? Why do you think each made Mr. McClung's list.

The first link I reviewed was "Steve Spangler's Science Toys;" it was a very fun site! It had endless science toys available for teachers, parents and students. It also had experiments that you could perform with them. This is a great site for science teachers, lots of great products and ideas! I loved it! The second link I reviewed was "Guys Read." This site references the study that girls are better readers than boys. However, this site goes on to state that girls just have an interest to read and that guys could be great readers if their interest was simply kept alive. Great point and I enjoyed reading this site! I really like the fact that Mr. McClung took the time to actually share these sites on his class blog.

8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract?

I really like the fact that Mr. McClung took the time to post internet safety rules on his class blog. Now, students can never say "But you never told me" or anything of the like. This puts all students responsible for their own actions and lets them know what is expected of them. This also shows parents that he cares about the students and their safety and will be enforcing his rules. They are clear cut and easy for tthe students to remember.

9. In the C4K part of this blog I asked that you look carefully at one of the categories under which you assigned post was filed. What did you find? Select one of the posts in the category and review it for me.

For this C4K assignment, I was assigned to the "Talent Show" category. I found lots of amazing acts being performed by different students in Mr. McClung's class. I was truly amazed at the talent of these eighth grade students. I was assifnws to watch Josh as he put in some work with his yo-yo. He did awesome routine for the talent show. I've never seen someone do that many tricks with a yo-yo before! I can only imagine the many hours he put in to practicing them!

10. Mr. McClung uses Edublog as his blog host. In some ways it may seem more "advanced." But Blogger has many abilities that we have not covered in EDM310. This leads to this question: Is there anything (or things) that Mr. McClung can do with his blog that you would like to do in Blogger?

I like how easy it was to navigate around Mr. McClung's entire blog. It seems as though he can pretty much organize it and design it however he chooses whereas it seems that you are more limited with what you can do on Blogger. Blogger works for me for right now, but upon entering my own classroom, I would want to research a blogging site that offers a little more creativity.

11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others?

Mr. McClung uses his blogs for almost everything. He posts assignments, requirements, sipplies, rules, etc. This is useful to anyone involved with his class - students, parents, teachers, administrators, everyone. With it being so easy to navigate and so user-friendly, parents or administrators could access his blog at any given time to see what the students are doing. I love that about his blog!

12. How does Mr. McClung's 8th grade blog differs from other blogs you have visited including other 8th grade blogs? Why the differences do you think?

Mr. McClung's blog seems to represent who he is as a teacher, exactly what  he expects from his students and how he wants his classroom to be ran. He is extremely organized, structured and to the point. He puts it all out there so no one is left in the dark. I think the main thing that stands out about his blog is his passion for teaching and helping his students to succeed.

13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth?

Mr. McClung and his blog are really inspiring to me. It shows me that there are still teachers out there that truly care about their students' participation and success. He is really practicing educating his students, not schooling them. I really plan to look back and use his blog and teaching methods as a reference once I enter my own classroom.

Blog Assignment 11

Video & Interview with Kathy Cassidy

I really enjoyed watching Ms. Cassidy's video of her students and seeing the ways technology can be incorporated into a classroom with students at such a young age. Some of the technology she was using in her classroom never even occurred to me when teaching first graders. I could never think of how blogging could be used with younger students, but I really like her justification for it - that it helps improve their writing skills and encourages them to work harder because they know people from all over the world are going to see it, not just their teacher. I also like that she has a webpage for her classroom as a hub for not only her students, but their parents as well. So many people in today's world are consumed by all of this technology that I think that having a class webpage available for their access as well as some of their child's work online for them to view, might aid in them in getting more involved with their child's education. I liked her reasoning for using a Nintendo DS, which was helping students learn to share and improve their problem solving skills, but I'm not sure I would take technology that far. I could definitely see that resulting in some problems - kids trying to sneak non-educational games, possible stealing, etc. Overall, I think she is doing a fantastic job at introducing technology to her students and utilizing it in such a way that they are sure to continue using it even after leaving her class.

I definitely see myself using a class webpage as a way for my students to stay connected and for their parents to keep track of what their children are learning in school. I also really like the idea of student blogs for the same purpose as Ms. Cassidy. I want to teach the third grade so they will be able to do a little more than the students in the video. I also like the thought of using wikis, google presentation and maybe skype.

My only concern with all of this online business is privacy and safety. I would want to be 100% positive that my students were limited on what they could access due to the things that are available online these days. I also liked that Ms. Cassidy did not allow her students to leave mean comments, use their last names, or ever post their picture with their name beside it. I think technology in the classroom can be a great thing as long as the students' and their identity are protected and their safety isn't being affected.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 10

In Mrs. Bayda's post An Open Letter to Educators, she talks about schooling versus education stating that she sometimes feels cheated by her University, especially by the time she is finished sitting through two three hour lectures in one afternoon. She states that she is scarcely encouraged to speak about a topic and never ever encouraged to speak about a topic to another classmate. I think her definition of schooling is the same as Dr. Strange's definition of burp-back-education. Teachers feed you facts, you memorize them, and then you're given a test and graded on how many facts you could memorize. People, THIS IS NOT EDUCATION! You are not learning if you are memorizing; you are not being challenged and you sure as heck aren't getting your monies worth! 

Like I told Mrs. Bayda in a comment, last semester I took a class in which we had to evaluate the difference between schooling and education. I had never given much thought to what the difference between the two was until then. And, the more I learned, the more angry I grew because I started to realize that through all these years, I had been being "schooled" not "educated." It is sad to think that this is the way the educational system has become. Although I would never be brave enough to drop out of school like Dan Brown, I don't blame him for his actions or for his statement that "his schooling was interfereing with his education," as that seems to be the case for most students these days.

I am glad that this issue has been brought to the surface. It makes future teachers, like myself, aware of the difference and encourages change. I am so glad that I am going to be a part of a new generation of teachers that want to see change; I just hope we really accomplish it or at least pave the way.

Mark Twain Quote

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

C4T 3

Post 1

For C4T 3, I was assigned to Jenna Bentley's blog. She is an educator who blogs about many different topics, much of which are on her passion for photography. In the first post that I commented on, Ms. Bentley talked about how she created a portfolio, which you can see by clicking here. She went on to talk about how she started participating in an online photo project called Daily Shoot. The Daily Shoot website gives you a different topic each day and you're supposed to go out and take a picture of your interpretation of that topic. It was created to encourage photographers to go out into the world and practice their skills everyday.

My Response:

Hi Ms. Bentley! My name is Samantha, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I have always been interested in photography as well. However, I am not any good at it. I looked at your portfolio.. Amazing! My favorite was the picture titled “colour.” I loved the lighting and reflection. It was simple yet still very eye-catching. The Daily Shoot Assignment is a brilliant idea! I definitely think that it will help spark your creativity and imagination. Keep up the good work, you’re doing a great job! Thanks for sharing.

Post 2

The next post that I read of Ms. Bentley's was titled "This I Believe." In this post she wrote about her experience as a basketball player. She recalls how she felt at one particular game. She talks about how when she got put in the game, she was so focused on the outcome of the game that she couldn't focus and made mistake after mistake. She eventually got pulled out of the game and her team lost by 10 points. She was so discouraged that she began to cry. A teammate attempted to comfort her by telling her that "A good player never has two bad games in a row. Show them what your made of next game." This seemed to really encourage her and she learned to only focus on the moment and that it's ok not to know.

My Response

This was a great essay! No criticism here except "loose" should be "lose" and then you said "can't never" - double negatives. Other than that, amazing! I felt like I was there; I shared your anticipation and anxiety and then felt comforted by your coach and teammate's words. I really like it when a writer uses a lot of expressive words and can make the reader feel like a part of the story. Great work, keep it up! Thanks for sharing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blog Assignment 9

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung:

Stay Positive

People, if you haven't read Mr. McClung's blog post already - READ IT! In this post, Mr. McClung shares with us what he learned during his first year of teaching. It gives great insight for future educators. Here's a brief rundown of his post:

How to Read the Crowd.
Here he states that your lessons aren't about you as the teacher, they are about your students. Your lessons need to be student-centered and let your audience drive your instruction.

Be Flexible.
Here he talks about how teachers tend to plan the "perfect" lesson; they know exactly how and what they want to say and when. He states that "the lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different." This is something we need to remember! You can plan you lessons to a certain extent, but allow for flexibility. Allow yourself to go-with-the-flow.

Now for communication, the best medicine as Mr. McClung calls it. He states that communication is the best way to resolve issues and establish strong relationships with your students and fellow teachers. So true!

Be Reasonable.
Mr. McClung talks about how we hold our students to certain expectations and how they don't always meet those expectations - and that's ok. Don't get upset and punish them for their mistakes, no one is perfect. Our job as an educator is to pick them up, brush them off and help them try again. It is extremely important that we as teachers remember this as it is critical for our students' success.

Don't be Afraid of Technology.
Technology is a must in today's society so don't be frightened by it. Jump in, learn it and use it to its full advantage. You can't run from it for forever!

Listen to Your Students.
My favorite.. "Listen to your students because you may be the only one that does." I think teachers have a tendency to forget that your students' needs are just as important as your actual students. You don't know where they come from, what their home life is like, or what they have been through. You need to respect them and let them know that you care, and in return, you will gain their respect.  

Never Stop Learning.
Mr. McClung says that we owe it to our students to never stop learning. We practically force them to learn, so why don't we? We live in a society that is ever-changing and requires us to continually learn. Don't ever stop!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

C4K 4, 5 & 6

Pt England School logo

C4K 4

For C4K 4, I was assigned to a little girl name Sylvia. She is a Year 6 student in Miss Juanita Garden's class (Room 17) at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. In her most recent post, she talked about how her uncle took her and her brother to Swimarama, a waterpark. She said it had an indoor and an outdoor pool, diving boards, and a hydroslide. She talked about how she was scared to jump off the diving board and go down the hydroslide, but she still did them and screamed "WOOHOO!!" the entire time! She said the day she went to Swimarama was "the best day EVER!"

My Response: 

Hi Sylvia! My name is Samantha and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I love your post about going to Swimarama! It sounds like you had a blast! Living on the Gulf Coast, there are several waterparks in the area. I haven't been to one in a few years, but after reading your post, I'm definitely going to have to go this summer! I love your writing by the way; you are very descriptive and painted a good picture for me. I almost felt like I was there with you. Keep up the good work! Nice to "meet" you!

C4K 5

For C4K 5, I was assigned to Tanielu's blog. He is a Year 8 student in Mrs. Lagitupu's class (Room 21) at Pt. England School. In the post that I commented on, Tanielu talked about his experience at Camp T.C. He shared with us about all the activities that he participated in with his group called "Responiblez." He also talked about how he competed in a swimming tournament in which he placed second. He was very excited about his positive experience, and it showed in his writing!

My Response:

Hi Tanielu! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I really enjoyed reading about your camp experience! I can definitely tell that you had a blast! Congratulations on placing 2nd in the swimming tournament! That's an awesome accomplishment! I hope to read more about your accomplishments in the future. Nice to "meet" you!

C4K 6

For C4K 6, I was assigned to a little girl name Theresa. She is a student in Ms. Engelhard's class. In her post she wrote "Sometimes you think that your parents are trying to be mean but no they just try to help you but you wont let them. Your parents love you and just want to be there for you and to take care of you. So maybe you should help them sometimes and be nice to them. P.S. They love you!!!!!!"

My Response:

Hi Theresa! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I like your post, you are very right! Your parents do love you and only want the best for you. I think we sometimes tend to forget that, but it is true! It is very nice of you to suggest helping them sometimes! What made you want to write this blog post? It's very sweet; I'm just curious. Nice to "meet" you!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

This is How we Dream, Parts 1 & 2 by Richard Miller:

This video demonstrates the changes in which our world is experiencing. Since the beginning of time, the school systems have been based around the textbook, paper and pencil. However, since the world is shifting to mostly digital based documents, the educational system is experiencing that change as well.

As a result, we as future teachers have the responsibility of learning how to create all of these digital and web based documents. They are important for teaching curriculum and for teaching students how to be creative. For our students to be successful, they are going to need to learn how to write and share their ideas on the web as well. Teaching our students to share their ideas is going to be a very important part of our teaching process, which is one of the main points of this video. 

I know that I am not quite ready to write with multimedia yet. Although, I am slowly learning and becoming more and more familiar with all of this technology, thanks to EDM310. I plan to keep using the information I have learned in this class and hope to continue to learn more about all of it so I will be prepared to write multimedia when the time comes.

The Chipper Series & EDM310 for Dummies:

These two videos were pretty entertaining. Although I have never been a full-on procrastinator, this first video did make me realize the procrastinator that lives in me. This class has especially helped me with my time efficiency. It has also helped me manage my time more efficiently in my other classes as well. The second video made me laugh. I was definitely lost at the beginning of this class (and completely overwhelmed), but after I sat down and calendared everything out, it is much easier and has definitely helped me value my time and use it more effectively.

If I were to film a video for the upcoming EDM310 students, I would create one that somehow stresses time management and staying up-to-date with their work. I would definitely encourage them to explore all of the assigned websites ahead of time and put a lot of effort and creativity into their work. Completing each assignment helps to make the next one a little bit easier. The next group of EDM 310 students should know that they do not need to be intimidated, just ready to put in a lot of time and effort into this class and that it will pay off! 

Learn to Change, Change to Learn:

Like the first video, this one shows you how the educational system is behind on change. It is sickening to hear that the educational industry was ranked 55 out of 55 in level of IT intensiveness by the U.S. Department of Commerce and that it was below coal mining. That right there is enough to initiate some change. The educational system needs to TEACH students, not feed them facts to memorize. They need to steer clear of standardized testing and burp-back education. We need to teach kids to think critically and think for themselves. Teachers need to teach their students how to use all of this new and improving technology to their full advantage. There is no reason for the education industry to be ranked so low with the resources that have become available. 

The Secret Powers of Time by Philip Zambardo &
Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by David Pink:

There were several points that really stood out to me in the video "The Secret Powers of Time." One was the statement that boys use video games to create their own worlds and that if classrooms were more digital, they would be more interested in what was really being taught. I can see this as being very true. If we made an attempt to incorporate digital media into our lessons and curriculum, it could result in an increase in student learning and success rate. I think it would really excite students and help create a welcoming classroom environment. The part of the video that stated that only 20% of American families have sit down dinners together really bothered me. My mom always made us sit down together every night. It was our time to communicate and talk about our day as a family. I think it is a very important time for families to bond. In addition to this video, I've also read about a study that was performed and the results were that the children whose families ate together at night were slightly more successful with their grades and in school.

In the second video, it really showed me another side to how people are motivated. Some people are thought to be motivated by money, by material possessions. However, this video states taht people are driven by knowledge. I think people feed off of knowledge; once they learn one thing, they hunger for more, they become hungry for the next step. We as teachers have to fuel this hunger. We have to help our students create and seek knowledge in their own way.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quote

Project 13 Smartboard Presentation

Peer Evaluation Results

1) On a scale of 1-10, please rank if the teachers' language and vocabulary was clear and age appropriate? All three participants gave each of us a 10.

2) On a scale of 1-10, please rank the overall presentation in comprehension level.
All three participants gave each of us a 10.

3) On a scale of 1-10, were students asked to participate in the activity?
All three participants gave each of us a 10.

4) On a scale of 1-10, rank the overall creativity of the activity.
All three participants gave each of us a 10.

5-8) Please comment on each person's overall performance.
Each of us was given a job well done.

9) What was the most prominent aspect of the lesson presented?
The students liked that our presentation was a multiple choice game, that it gave them a grade at the end, and they liked our enthusiasm. 

10) Please tell us if there is anything you would change or add to the presentation.
All three students said they would change nothing and that it was great.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Project 10 PLN Progress Post

I chose to use Symbaloo for my Personal Learning Network, and it seems to be going rather smoothly. The instructional video on their homepage helped me a lot. I really like the idea of having all the websites I visit on a regular basis in one central location. My PLN is definitely a work in progress, but so far, it has proven to be very time efficient and helps me to stay organized. I can't wait to finish it and continuously put it to the test! I can totally see how this could be beneficial to a student's learning.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture:

Randy Pausch

     I agree with Dr. Strange, this video was most definitely well worth the time. In the introduction part of Dr. Pausch's lecture, he shares with the audience that he is a cancer patient with only a few short months left to live. He not only gives this last lecture as a way to say his final words but also as an attempt to leave a meaningful message behind to his family, his colleagues, students and educators. He was very positive in his speaking and so uplifting that you could not help but keep watching. He had me crying by the end.

     In the following part of his lecture, he shared with the audience about his childhood dreams and accomplishments. He talked about all of his dreams and goals he achieved throughout his entire career. He went on to talk about the trials and "brick walls" that he had to overcome in order to reach those dreams. He said that those obstacles weren't there to stop him, but to prove to him what his dreams were worth.

     I think the most significant part of his lecture for future educators to take hold of is the passion and sincerity in his teaching. The way he lead his students is so inspiring. He was very driven by creativity, so much so that he had his students creating and designing things that had never been done before. He used project/group based learning to ignite enthusiasm and create a learning environment that students wanted to be a part of. From watching his video and seeing his excitement when talking about his students, you know they had to love his class. He continuously encouraged his students because he wanted them to reach their full potential. He wanted to help them overcome the "brick walls" to reach their dreams and goals the same way he did.

     As a future educator myself, I sincerely hope that I can be as inspiring to my students as Dr. Pausch was. I'm sure in the years to come, I will revert back to this video to keep my goals and teaching in check. Dr. Pausch saw the bright side in everything he did and encountered, even in his last days. He taught his students that the world is their playground and to always follow their dreams. I wrote one of his quotes on a notecard to keep in my binder.. "If you live your life right, your dreams will come to you." What a great way to think! I want to learn to find the brightness and joy in every situation that arises in my life the same way that he did.

C4T 2

For C4T 2, I was assigned to follow the Physical Education Teacher, Jarrod Robinson a.k.a. The PE Geek. Mr. Robinson is from Victoria, Australia and is trained in Information Technology. He takes great delight in aiming to engage students in his classes using web 2.0 tools. He states that the purpose of his blog is to "detail the different ways he is trialling these technologies in his classes."

His first post was a video on how to use TimeWarp 4.0. He gives a brief tutorial on how it could be used in a classroom.

My Response:

Hi Mr. Robinson. My name is Samantha, and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. Although I am unfamiliar with TimeWarp 4.0, after watching your video I can see just how beneficial it could be in any classroom (especially in Physical Education) and/or on a sports field. I found the "tagging" part to be the most intriguing; I could see coaches using this to demonstrate plays, runs, stretches, etc. and teachers using it for just about anything. I will definitely become more familiar with this program. Thank you for sharing!

Mr. Robbo's second post was on the Instant Heart Rate application for the iphone. He just explains how it works and even shared an instructional video. It proved to be pretty accurate!

My Response:

Hi Mr. Robbo! I’m back for another post. Although I don’t own an iphone, I did just purchase the Samsung Galaxy today. It’s just another company’s version of the iphone. I’m definitely going to have to look to see if this app is available for my phone! It is a very cool app for a physical education teacher and for someone like me that loves to workout and run. Thank you for sharing, once again!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

C4K 1, 2 & 3

C4K 1

For the first C4K, I was assigned to Jessica W.'s blog. She is in Ms. White's 4th grade class at Crozet Elementary in Crozet, Virginia.

In her post she talks about what she was giving her grandfathers for Christmas. She said she was giving one of her grandfathers a leather sketchbook for him to draw his sculpture ideas in because he made sculptures out of metal. She said she was giving her other grandfather an international farmers calendar because he liked them instead of John Deere and because he was a part-time farmer. She also talked about how she likes to make candles.

My response:

Hi Jessica! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I love the thoughtfulness behind your presents to your family. I think those are always the best gifts to give and to receive. How did your grandfathers like their presents? I bet they loved them! I’m very impressed with the fact that you make candles; that is so creative and sounds like a lot of fun! I would be scared of burning myself. Do you make them often? I would love to see a picture of one that you made!

C4K 2

For the second C4K, I was assigned to Subika's blog. She is a 5th grade student in Mr. St. Pierre's class at Terryville Elementary School in New York.

In Subika's post she talks about heart to heart day. She said that she wore red socks, red bracelets, and a red shirt in support of "Go Red for Women."

My Response:

Hi Subika! My name is Samantha and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. What a great cause and a great way to raise awareness! It is very inspiring to see children of all ages supporting such an amazing cause. I hope you continue to raise awareness for heart disease in the years to come. Thanks for sharing!

Go Red for Women

C4K 3

For the third C4K, I was assigned to Anamei's blog. She is a year 5 student in Mr. Marks' class at Pt. England School in New Zealand.

She started a new blog for her new year of school so she only has one blog post, which was just a picture of herself titled "This is Me." 

My Response: 

Hi Anamei! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the U.S. I was assigned to comment on your blog for one of my education classes here at school. I think it's so neat how we can communicate with people from all over the world with the click of a button! I like your picture, very cute! You seem like a very happy little lady! Well, it was nice to "meet" you, and I hope to read more about you in some of your later blog posts. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 5


Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog:

     These kids did an amazing job with their podcasts! I listened to Episode #3, "Roamin' with the Ancient Romans." In this episode, the students discussed Roman architecture, Julius Caesar, gladiators and Cleopatra. The students read very well to only be in the 3rd grade; they also spoke clearly so it was very easy to hear and understand them. It's so neat to see/hear such young children use technology in this manner.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale:

     This video gives several benefits of podcasting in the classroom such as creating an effective way of interacting with students outside of the classroom, they allow for differentiation and project based learning, create a form of learning today's students are familiar with and therefore makes it relevant to them, students can access higher-order thinking skills and they promote creativity and innovation. In addition, podcasts can offer distance learning opportunities for absent students and parents can see and hear what their children are doing at school. Podcasts help excite students when it comes to learning. This video shows just how beneficial podcasts can be in the classroom.

The Practical Principles with Melinda Miller & Scott Elias:

     This blog defines a podcast as "rich media, such as audio or video, distributed via RSS." Although this podcast is just free-flowing conversation, it still has a sense of professionalism. They didn't use slang or bad grammar, they talked very clearly and professional. However, they still came across as relaxed and easy-going. This made it very easy to listen to and follow along with. I think this podcast will definitely help me and my group with our project. I really liked the format of it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? by Scott McLeod:

     I liked Dr. McLeod's take on this. I like how he made you wonder the entire time if he was really against technology. He makes a bunch of valid points though. Technology can be dangerous; sexting, cyber-bullying, cheating, predators, porn.. it all exists. It's all out there. However, it's out there in the real world too, not just online. So, I think it is extremely important to not only teach about the positives of technology, but the negatives too. I think we in EDM should also be taught the negatives of technology. I think we should be taught about parent control settings in addition to blogging, skyping, twitter, etc. After all, if computers are going to take over schools and the world in the near future, don't we need to learn how to protect our children to some extent? Having a child of my own, I think so.
     Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Education Administration Program at Iowa State University. He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues. Also, Dr. McLeod is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. 

The iSchool Initiative:

     My first question after watching the video is who is going to pay for these? Is the school going to provide them like they provide books or is it going to be the responsibility of the parents? If so, what about the families that have 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 kids? Are they going to get assistance? I know I  went to school with two different families that each had 12 children. So at $150 a piece, that's almost $2,000. And what happens when one break or messes up or freezes? I know my internet at home goes out at least once a month. Over the summer when I was enrolled full-time in summer courses, my internet was down for a week. What will happen then? Do the students get counted as absent, do they get penalized and have to make up the work that they missed? Will they just fall behind? In my opinion, technology is not quite there yet; it has not been perfected enough for a school to go completely technology-based.
     In addition, I truly believe that children need a classroom environment. They need that experience, that outlet. When a school turns technology-based and you attend "class" by logging in online, what does that do for social interaction? This is the same reason I would never homeschool my son. I think they need to be surrounded by children their age and experience learning hands-on. That's how they learn and how they grow... not staring at a computer, iphone or ipad all day.

The Lost Generation by Jonathan Reed:

     Very clever I must say. It is sad to say that in today's work, a lot of people do put work before family, rely on material things for happiness, divorce rates are rapidly increasing, and the rising generations are becoming ever more apathetic and lethargic. And the video is right, it will remain true unless we reverse it, but how? I think now more than ever we need to reevaluate the importance of family, work, money, technology etc. We need to return to our roots and realign our priorities; that's where change begins.

Together We Can Change the World

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir:

     Although I am still for social interaction, this video was a great demonstration of one of the many uses of technology. It is crazy to think that 185 people from all around the country could collaborate and make such an amazing video; it was very creative and interesting to see!

Teaching in the 21st Century:

    What does it mean to teach in the 21st century? It means you not only have to teach facts and content, but you also have to teach skills as well. You have to integrate technology (in moderation, in my opinion) into the classroom to enhance these skills. Since technology is expanding and everchanging, the upcoming generations need to be familiar with how to utilize every source that is at their disposal, but at the same time, need not be reliant on it. Teaching in the 21st century also means that you must challenge, push and engage your students.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Assignment 3


A Vision of Students Today by Michael Wesch:

     Some parts of this video do capture my college experience. I have paid hundreds of dollars for textbooks and never used them; I will be over $20,000 in debt after I graduate; I do spend countless hours on the phone, sending emails, surfing the web and studying. There are problems in the world today that I did not create that are still my problems.

     However, it does not capture my college experience in that I do not sit around and fret over the negatives. I know that my college experience is leading me to a great place. I know that despite the massive amount of debt I will be in thanks to student loans, I am very fortunate to even have the opportunity to attend college so I am trying to make the very best of it.

It's Not About the Technology by Kelly Hines:

     I absolutely loved this! She is exactly right, teachers must be learners. Teachers have to have a desire and a willingness to continue to learn throughout their entire career in order to remain an effective teacher. Times are constantly changing and new technology is rapidly evolving. Also, learning has to be the goal of every teacher. A teachers can teach all day long, but if the students aren't actually learning, well then the teacher's job has not been done.  

     In addition, technology can be a very efficient tool in education. This can only happen though if a teacher is adequately trained and familiar with it. Like Mrs. Hines said, "when we put innovative tools in the hands of innovative teachers, amazing things can happen. If you put these tools in the hands of teachers who are not willing to innovate, money has been wasted." She couldn't have said it better!

Is it Okay to Be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher? by Karl Fisch:

     I agree with Mr. Fisch in that it is not okay for teachers to be technologically illiterate. When you live in a time when things are advancing as quickly as they are this day in age, you have to keep up with times in order to be effective. And, if you are dedicated to being a lifelong learner, well then you probably won't succeed as an educator in today's ever changing times.

     However, I do not agree with him and his statement that "School inspectors that are technologically illiterate should be encouraged to find alternative employment." I do not think that is fair. School systems should offer and require technology classes for teachers in order to keep them up-to-date with times and technology. They may not use all of it in their classrooms, but they still need to know it exists and be familiar with it.

Social Media Count by Gary Hayes:
     This social media counter, to me, means that I am definitely going to have to be a lifelong learner. I am going to have to stay up-to-date with all technology if I want to really be able to reach my students. I may not use all of it in my classroom, but I think it will definitely be beneficial to at least know the basics of it all just in case an opportunity ever arises for which I would need it.